Ever since the tablet market doors were flung open by Apple, the tablet PC has become the most desirable tool-slash-accessory of the last few years. Competitors had witnessed the success of iPad and iPad accessories, hence coming out with their own tablet PCs to compete with Apple. Yes, tablets have arrived and they are looking good. With a sleek, keyboard-free design, tablets offer handy, portable computing and connectivity. It is one of the coolest gadgets to come out and it is safe to say that this is one tool that is on many people’s want list. However, is it the right gadget for you? Here is a guide on what you should know before buying a tablet PC.
The type, quality and size of the screen is an important consideration for tablet PCs. Size will matter, particularly if you have large fingers and intend to do a lot of typing. However, keep in mind that the larger the screen, the larger the overall size of the tablet and the less portable it becomes. If you are going for portability, look for a good compromise between screen size and functionality. Tablet PC screens range from 5 inches to 10.1 inches, so there is plenty to choose from.
Keep in mind that tablet PCs are not created equal, so some may offer better displays than others. Image quality matters particularly if you want to maximize your experience for reading, playing video games, surfing and watching movies. Resolution is expressed in the number of pixels for every square inch of screen. The higher this amount, the better the picture quality.
Another key consideration to keep in mind is the tablet PC’s responsiveness to touch. Nothing is more frustrating than using a tablet and not getting the type of response you want, when and where you want it.
Lighting vs. Glare
If you are checking the merits of a tablet PC inside a store, remember that you are viewing its screen in even lighting. It may look good but it may not perform as well in low lighting or bright sunlight. Try to check it under different lighting conditions. If it performs consistently, then it is probably the right choice for you.
Connectivity is a crucial function of the tablet PC and should not be taken for granted. Most tablets have built-in Wi-Fi but make sure to choose one that can accommodate your surfing habits. This is especially important if you like uploading, downloading and viewing media-streaming files, which are resource heavy.
Bluetooth is also a good feature to have, especially if you prefer wireless transfer of data. It will also allow you to use a Bluetooth keyboard or headset if you choose.
If you like to travel or want Internet access from anywhere, consider 3G connection. Some of the leading tablet manufacturers have partnered with telecommunications companies, so it is possible to get connected from anywhere there is a signal. You will have to pay for the plan, though and some telecom companies may require a contract with a lock-in period.
If there is one thing that has to be big in a tablet PC, it has to be storage. This is especially important for users who do heavy duty storing and saving. More storage means more cost but you could upgrade memory with a removable memory card to make more room.
Apps and Operating Systems
Tablets often come with an onboard operating system that allows you to use software. Many of these are packaged with great apps that enhance and extend the functionality of the tablet. The good news is that there is an app for virtually anything you can think of to satisfy professional and recreational interests.
Anything else that one should know before buying a tablet PC? Tell us in the comments.
This article is written by Peter Lee who blogs at Computer How To Guide, a blog featuring computer how-tos, tips and tricks, gadgets, security and various computers and technology related topics.